Home > Shock & Awe (Sidewinder #1)

Shock & Awe (Sidewinder #1)
Author: Abigail Roux

Kelly had to lean against the railing of his front porch while Nick dealt with the lock and the alarm to his cabin. He pressed his hand to his chest, resting his palm over the healing bullet wound just under his left pectoral. It had been a long plane ride, even in first class, and the hour-long trip from the airport hadn’t been much better on him. He was exhausted, and all he wanted was his own bed.

Nick left the luggage at the door and hustled inside to turn off the beeping alarm. Kelly didn’t have to tell him the code. They all knew where the keys to their castles were: Ty’s and Owen’s security codes, Nick’s yacht, and a mental map of Digger’s bayou booby traps.

The beeping from inside stopped, and Nick returned to roll the luggage out of the way. Kelly wrapped his arm over Nick’s shoulders, and they hobbled through the front door. He could walk on his own when they’d left the hospital in New Orleans, but after so much travel, he wasn’t actually sure he could anymore.

“Thanks for doing this, bud,” Kelly muttered.

“Hey,” Nick grunted. “We both know you took that bullet for me. Least I can do is get you home.”

Kelly didn’t argue. He couldn’t claim he’d taken the bullet on purpose, but if he hadn’t been there, it would have lodged in Nick’s head, and they both knew how that would have ended. He leaned on Nick until they reached the worn leather recliner in the living room, but he hesitated as Nick tried to help lower him into it.

“What’s wrong?”

Kelly laughed. “I’m not sure I’ll be able to get out of this thing if I get down.”

“It’s not like you’re going anywhere.” Nick tightened his grip on Kelly’s waist and eased him into the recliner. “And I’m not carrying your ass upstairs right now, so sit.”

“You’re a horrible nursemaid.”

Nick pulled the handle on the side of the chair and shot Kelly’s legs out.

As soon as the chair stopped wobbling, Kelly closed his eyes and relaxed into its familiar folds. He listened to Nick banging around, bringing their luggage inside, going through the refrigerator. Nick gasped and closed the refrigerator door quickly. They’d been gone a long time; Kelly had no doubt what the inside of that thing smelled like.

Nick finally came back into the living room with a glass of water. “You ready for meds? I’m going to put you to sleep and go get some groceries. And . . . maybe some rubber gloves.”

Kelly mustered a smile. “Sounds good.”

Nick tapped one of the painkillers into his palm and grinned. “Bank shot?”

Kelly opened his mouth, and Nick tossed a pill into it, then another, snickering as he handed Kelly the glass of water. He threw a blanket over him, put the television remote and his cell phone within reach, then patted Kelly’s head.

“I’ll be back before you wake up.”

Kelly closed his eyes, relaxing so the pills could to do their work. He knew he didn’t have anything to worry about as long as Nick was on the job.

When Kelly awoke, it was to the sound of humming and the smell of bacon frying and a hint of Lysol. It took him a moment to remember where he was and why he was sore. He stared at Nick, who was curled on the couch a few feet away with a book.

“Hey,” he said, his voice hoarse.

Nick jerked, glancing up at him. He set his book aside and scooted forward, but he didn’t stand. “You okay? Need more pills.”

“No, I’m good. What’s that sound?”

Nick went still and listened briefly, then shook his head. “I don’t hear anything.”

Kelly held his breath and realized the humming sound had faded. So had the smell. “Are you cooking bacon?”

Nick began to chuckle, then fought hard to stop. “No. Do you want me to be?”

“No. Yeah. Wait, no, no.”

Nick waited patiently, still smiling.

Kelly just stared at him, trying to get his brain to work. He wasn’t sure if he was hallucinating, if his brain had picked up on all the things Nick had been doing while he’d slept and then replayed them to him, or if he was just losing his mind. He wasn’t sure he cared, though, because now that he was fully awake, he was in pain again. “Okay, I need another pill,” he finally said. Nick reached for the pill bottle. “But half of it this time. I’m tired of you laughing at me for being drugged.”

Nick merely nodded as he fished a pill out. He broke it and popped one half into his mouth before handing the other to Kelly.

“What the hell, O’Flaherty?” Kelly asked, laughing despite how much it hurt to do so.

“Consider it payment for services rendered,” Nick said as he took a sip of Kelly’s water. Kelly gaped. Nick laughed harder and handed Kelly a whole pill to add to the half. “It’s like a step above Tylenol, don’t hurt yourself.”

Kelly was still chuckling while he tried to down the painkillers.

“You think you’re going to be more comfortable here or in your bed tonight?”

Kelly peered at the darkened windows. He dreaded nighttime, because that was when he hurt more and slept fitfully. There was never anything on TV to entertain him in the wee hours when he was wide awake, and he’d sped through all the books he had access to. It also got lonely, because he wasn’t about to keep Nick awake at night as well as depend on him during the day. “Is it that time already?”

Nick shrugged. “Close enough.”

“Well. If I sleep here, you can have my bed.”

“Doc, if you sleep here I’ll be on the couch in case you need me. If you sleep upstairs, I’ll make a pallet on the floor.”

“Promise not to roll in your sleep, and I’ll share the bed.”

Nick gave him an easy smile and stood. “Worth a try. I’ve promised more for a bed.”

“You whore,” Kelly said, grinning as he slid his arm around Nick’s neck and held tight for Nick to help him stand.

Once he was out of the recliner, he shuffled off to the bathroom on the ground floor. He could hear Nick lugging the suitcases up the steps to the loft bedroom of the cabin. Kelly was beyond grateful Nick had insisted he come with Kelly until he was well enough to fend for himself. Otherwise he didn’t like to think where he’d be stuck, or who would be stuck taking care of him. Nick was using every last hour of vacation time the Boston PD gave him to be here.

It took them a full five minutes to get Kelly up the stairs, mostly because they had to keep stopping to laugh at the absurdity of it, and by the time he eased onto the edge of his bed, they were both out of breath.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
Most Popular
» Fall (VIP #3)
» A Strange Hymn (The Bargainer #2)
» Dark Harmony (The Bargainer #3)
» Hard Sell (21 Wall Street #2)
» Close to the Bone (Widow's Island #1)
» A Bone to Pick (Widow's Island #2)
» Professor Feelgood (Masters of Love #2)
» Trailer Park Heart